DS1 is 2 and a bit, was out playing in garden and brought what he called a 'bluberry' to me. Since the rain this afternoon, loads of berries from a tree in the neighbour's garden have fallen off into ours. They're big and black, and though she doesn't know for sure, the neighbour thinks it might be a cherry laurel (she looked it up in a book of trees, and it does seem to be).
DS1 has always been good about not putting stuff in his mouth if he doesn't know what its is, but he's at that age where not much is predictable. I've asked him whether he has eaten any or put any in his mouth, and he's said both yes and no - I've no idea whether he actually did or not, or whether he just brought one over when he found them. I've tried asking in loads of different ways, but often I think he thinks we're just playing one of our games & he's pretending that he's eaten some.
The tree is apparently highly toxic, the flesh of the berries less so, but the stone in the berry very poisonous. I asked DS1 if there was a hard bit in it or whether it was soft, & he said 'hard bit' - there's a stone in them like a cherry, which makes me think he might have eaten one - I asked if he spat it out or swallowed it, & he said he swallowed it. But then again, he might well not have, and could just be doing the pretending that we do so much of the time. I've tried telling him this isn't a game and I need to know what actually happened, but I'm still no clearer.
I think you have to take him in, i had exactly the same situation with ds at the same age when he brought me a half used packet of ibruprofen (no idea where he got if from) and said that he had/hadn't eaten any.
We had a six hour wait in A and E he was fine and they let us go home.
I would take him to A&E together with some of the berries and maybe some leaves from the tree (to help with identification) and your neighbour's book. If you suspect that it is highly toxic and are not sure if he has eaten any then better safe than sorry IMO.
Even if you have a long wait in A&E (take a book/some toys to keep him busy and a drink maybe food???), it is still better, because if he does become unwell you are in the right place straight away. Hope it all turns out to be a false alarm.
Advice? Go to A&E now. Call an ambulance if you don't have a car. Your son should be treated as if he has ingested something highly toxic and time is vital. Out of the house and off to hospital NOW please.
My son when he was 3 ate laurel berries. We didn't know the quanity. We phoned NHSDirect. They spoke to the relevant dept and got back in touch ASAP. We were told to give him fluids and if he showed any signs of illness to get him to the hospital/call ambulance. I stayed up all night watching him sleep - he was fine.
Probably best to remember that the OP doesn't know if he's eaten them or not and she doesn't know for definate what they are. These two circumstances mean she needs to err very much on the side of caution rather than seeking reassurance on the internet.
Thanks everyone. We're sure it's cherry laurel but still not sure whether he's eaten any or not. If he has, I think it was one berry.
NHS Direct got back to us very quickly, looked up the poison & said that the best course of action was to observe him for six hours, so we're keeping him up as long as we can. It happened at 5pm, so if he's ok by 11, I think we're in the all clear. Is that how long it takes for something to be digested?
If he has swallowed a stone, it's very very unlikely that he chewed it (I think he would have broken his teeth) so he would have swallowed it whole, which shouldn't be dangerous, apparently. We're not taking our eyes off him, and if he shows any signs at all of anything being wrong, we're straight to A&E - it's only 3 minute drive from us, thankfully.